Album: The End of an Era: Rebirth
Label: Normal Records
Genre: Technical Death Metal
Country: United States
Release Date: April 12th, 2019
A common dilemma every artist faces is looking back at their previous work and only being able to see the flaws. Tech death heavy hitters like Inferi are no stranger to this feeling. So under a fresh lineup and with a renewed sense of passion they’ve returned to their second album; ‘The End of an Era’ to bring it to its full glory that was originally intended. For established fans of Inferi such as myself, I can say right now it’s almost like Christmas in spring.
Being as this is a re-release, the first point I feel that needs to be addressed is comparisons between the original release and this one. While the music is the same, it doesn’t feel anything thing like the same album. The band approached the production of this with a totally different musical perspective, placing emphasis on completely different elements to the music. In my opinion, this is a point in favour for the re-release, it has a much more melodic feel to it, and a much stronger emphasis on the instrumental section, which (while not taking away from the vocals, which are amazing) is easily one of Inferi’s strong points. The main difference between both albums however, is the sound quality, which is a polarizing topic in metal. Lots of people like a ‘raw’, old school vibe. I on the other hand, much prefer squeaky clean studio production, especially with technical music like this, which is exactly what you’ll find here. The pristine sound quality brings a whole new level of depth and coherence to the music. It makes every aspect audible to the listener, and allows focal points to not be intruded on by muddiness. So for any reader that was going to pass on this one because this is simply a ‘re-release’, I highly recommend you change that stance right now.
From a musical standpoint I firmly believe Inferi have made a modern classic here. The music is fast, and I mean really freaking fast. I could almost describe it as similar to Archspire with a heavy injection of melody. Every part of the instrument section shines, The reworked Bass and Drum sections and a whole new sense of depth and energy to the music. The album is littered with epic Yngwie Malmsteen style dual guitar solos that are bound to get the shredders out there drooling. From a vocal standpoint, Stevie Boiser absolutely knocks his performance out of the park on every tune. The vocal style involves a lot of highs, similar to chuck’s high pitched screams in later Death albums mixed with extremely fast paced verses. Some of my favourite tracks from the record were ‘A New Breed of Savior’, ‘Quest for the Trinity’, and ‘Forged in the Phlegethon’. In many cases a re-release usually feels like just that; a re-release. But ‘The End of an Era: Rebirth’ feels like a logical progression in Inferi’s development as a band. Perhaps this is a testament to their compositional consistency. Musically, I really can’t think of any criticism of this album.
To sum everything up, I firmly believe this release will put Inferi amongst tech death heavyweights like Obscura, Beyond Creation, or Archspire if they aren’t already there. It’s a rare thing for a band to take a pre-existing work and rework it into something that feels new while maintaining the core of the music. For this I applaud Inferi. With their current lineup they’ve hit a point of immense musical skill and power, I look forward to what Inferi puts out in future releases.
1. The Ruin of Mankind (Ft. Ryan Cho on additional strings)
2. Gatherings in the Chamber of Madness
3. The Endless Siege
4. A New Breed of Savior
5. Sentenced to Eternal Life
6. The War Machine Embodiment
7. The Warrior’s Infinite Opus
8. Quest for the Trinity
9. Forged in the Phlegethon (Ft. guest vocals from original drummer Eric Brown of Nekrogoblikon)
10. Cursed Unholy
Total Playing Time: 54:39
“Being in death metal is like being a Janitor, I sweep all day.”